I think that most people are aware of Italian cured hams like Parma and San Danielle, some people may have come across Jambon de Bayonne from 'La Pays Basque' and everbody is positively falling over themselves to learn the nomeclature of the Spanish ham types for use in polite conversation, but have they heard of Cumberland, Suffolk or Bradenham? I'm happy to say that I have and most recently it was the Cumberland cure that came my way.
While staying in the Lake District on food item that I was determined to try was a locally cured ham. Cumberland and Westmorland have been famous for hams for centuries and as I was about to move back to Australia where the chances of sampling these hams were remote in the extreme, this wasn't an oppertunity that I was going to miss out on. In the region there is one name that stands out above all others in regards to hams and that name is "Richard Woodall". Fine so we would pop over to the shop in Waberthwaite, pick up a ham and that was that. My friend Isabel seems to know every food producer in the UK made the call, the news was mixed. "We would love to sell you a ham, but the store is closed during this period. But if you would like to drop by after 6 pm tomorrow we will be in the store briefly".
Obviously we were at the store at 6 pm the next day, how could we not? We knew that we were in the right village as the sweet fragrance of ham told us so. After being greeted by Mr and Mrs Woodall, we entered the store and this was the sight that greated us.
I can't remember much about the next few minutes, but I must have been very, very enthusiastic as Mr Woodall offered me a tour of the ham curing process - to shut up my excited ramblings no doubt. The Woodalls were wonderfully generous for opening their store and guiding us around the production facilities, I can't thank them enough for the experience and the insight into Cumberland ham production.
Woodalls Ham and Bacon.